Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist…still???

So I read a friends blog recently and I was a bit dismayed by the story he told. The following is his reprinted story:

A few days ago, after swimming a couple of laps at the gym pool, I decided to spend a few minutes in the dry sauna while I dried myself off. Two fully-clothed, rotund, black men were sitting inside, one was dressed in a purple sweat suit while the other seemed to be wearing a work uniform. From what I could hear of their conversation, I gathered that they were under the impression that simply causing their bodies to perspire would get rid of their excessive fat content. As I sat down, the one in the sweat suit turned to me and said:

Fat Black Man in Purple Sweat Suit
“Are you a faggot son?”

“Excuse me?”

And like it was nothing he repeated his question:

Fat Black Man in Purple Sweat Suit
If I was in the suburbs or in one of the many ghettos that surround Houston I could see how this kind of question could be asked with such indifference (and ignorance). But this wasn’t a gym in the suburbs or the ghetto, We were in midtown, the gay area of town. It would be an understatement to say that at least 50% of the members in this gym consist of totally out of the closet homosexual men.

“If you are asking me if I am a HO-MO-SEXUAL, then yes I AM A HOMO-SEXUAL. But You shouldn’t use that word!”

“What word?” the fat black man in the purple sweat suit asked.

“Faggot. You shouldn’t say the word faggot. It’s offensive.”

The Fat Black Man in the Purple Sweat Suit
“Faggots are an offense to god. You need to be a real man, the way god intended you to be”

“Can you please stop saying that word?”

The Fat black Man in the Purple Sweat Suit
“Do you know that it’s wrong to be gay, it says it in the bible. Aren’t you afraid of burning in hell?”

“Listen, you believe what you want to but please keep it to yourself.”

The Fat Black Man in the Purple Sweat Suit
“And what the fuck are you wearing? Some kind of faggot ass bikini? You know this is a gym right?”
I was wearing a speedo. Like the kind pictured above.

“I was swimming. This is what swimmers wear.”

The Fat Black Man in the Purple Suit
“That’s what faggots wear.”

I wish I was a better man. A man who could take the high ground, turn the other cheek, and simply just walk away. Or I wish I was able to peacefully converse with those who I may disagree with, without letting anger and hatred cloud my judgment and dictate my actions, but I’m just not that man.

“And that purple sweat suit is what niggers wear”

And then I quickly ran for my life…>>>

After reading this there was an onslaught of other blog readers that seemed to be very understanding of my friends’ point of view and condoned his response, many even said that they’d do the same thing in his place.
So I felt I had to throw in my 2 cents and here’s what came out of me…

“I’m actually puzzled by this whole dialogue mainly because so many people are patting you on the back for exhibiting racism as a knee jerk reaction when the ass who was talking to you was exhibiting HOMOPHOBIA.
I might be crazy but I think homophobia and racism are two similar but separate conversations.

That man was not attacking your heritage, he was attacking your lifestyle, but you in turn changed the subject and lashed out at his color.

To be clear, that guy was an ass, but he would’ve been an ass if he were white and said those same things, correct?
So I’m curious, what would you have said if the fat guy was white?

If fat black homophobes get to be called niggers, then what do you call fat white homophobes?

Although I completely appreciate and respect the fact that you shared this story because of the outpouring of conversation that has ensued, I must say that in all your “humanness” I’ve usually been able to side with you for the most part.

Not in this instance.

My biggest disappointment is that you let HIM being the way HE is cause YOU to be the way HE is.

Reactive, judgmental, offensive and hurtful. What’s worse is that you said it and ran. IF you felt so strongly about calling him a nigger, then why run? And if you were going to run, why bother saying anything to him at all? Just run right out and get that fat motherfucker ejected. That way he wouldn’t get the opportunity to say that kind of nonsense to anyone else at that club.

Yes everyone may be a little bit racist, but that’s because we say that statement as if allowing it, even a little bit, is tolerable AT ALL.

I’ve discovered through this conversation the degree to which racism is currently “allowable”. I’m sure that the many guys who said they “would’ve done the same thing” are a microcosm of a greater racist macrocosm.

Disappointing to say the least.”

I’m hoping that what I felt isn’t quite what’s real…


2 thoughts on “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist…still???

  1. you begin again....

    When I read your friend’s story ( not knowing who your friend is or what blog that is) my first reaction was the same as yours: two wrongs don’t make a right and there’s no justice in exchanging one form of hatred for another.
    However… I read the story again, and saw his frustration at the two men who didn’t realize they were being offensive.
    There are some (read: too many) people on this planet that Just. Don’t. Get. It. when dealing with others who are different than they are in some way they find significant. It’s one thing to hold an opinion, it’s another to rub a complete stranger’s face in it. When I read the story again, I wondered – was he really changing the subject, or was he making a last-ditch effort to hold up a mirror to these two men and reflect their poor behaviour back to them in terms they could understand? Sometimes it takes a 2×4 at high speed to get someone’s attention.
    Is it effective? I guess it depends on the circumstance. If your friend had to run for his life, it may not have been this time. ;-)
    You know your friend better than Complete Stranger on Blogger over here does – is that scenario above possible?
    Have a great weekend. MUAH!!

  2. Manilovely

    I see what you’re saying Kye – and to a point, what your friend was TRYING to communicate.

    However there is a saying by Ghandi, I believe, that “an eye for an eye, only makes us blind” and in these times, that’s never been more true.

    I’ve battled with my weight most of my adult life – people assume I’m stupid because I’m “fat”. People assume I’m stupid because my mother is Irish. She suffered terribly when she came to the UK from Ireland at the hands of people’s ignorance. (You’ve met her Kye and I think you’d agree she’s certainly NOT stupid, lol)

    I wish we could ALL just see each other as a brother or a sister and learn to love irrespective of anything.

    Love and peace, Vivienne x


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